It can be difficult to broach the subject of senior housing with aging loved ones. Before you do, it’s important that you take two steps:
- Asses your loved one’s state of health
- Weight the pros and the cons of senior housing
If, after taking these two steps, you decide that senior housing might benefit your loved one, then it may be time to broach the subject.
Step 1: Asses your loved one’s state of health
When deciding whether to broach the subject of senior care, the first step is to accurately assess your loved one’s state of health. You can do this by looking out for warning signs that indicate changes in their health.
In most cases, senior care—such as senior housing—becomes necessary when, due to changes in their health, seniors start struggling to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLS include getting dressed and driving.
Health issues that make ADLs difficult fall under three categories: cognitive, physical, and emotional.
- Memory loss or forgetfulness
- Language difficulties (e.g. confusing or having trouble pronouncing words)
- Difficulty focusing
- Sensory difficulties (e.g. trouble seeing or hearing)
- Chronic pain
Emotional (or psychological)
- Loss of interest in activities
- Social withdrawal
All three of these health categories tend to overlap. For instance, trouble seeing may make it harder for seniors to get out of the house and socialize, which may cause them to withdraw from their friends and family, which may cause them to become anxious or depressed.
As senior housing develops, trained staff members are becoming increasingly aware of the links between cognitive, physical, and emotional health issues. The future of senior housing may benefit from a more holistic medical approach.
Step 2: Weight the pros and cons
Senior housing can change seniors’ lives for the better. But senior housing is not right for everyone. Whether senior housing may be right for your loved one depends on their health, personality, values, finances, and more.
When trying to decide whether it’s the right time to broach the subject of senior housing with your ageing loved ones, it helps to clearly lay out the pros and cons.
The possible pros of senior housing include:
- Intellectual stimulation
- Easier day-to-day life
- Reliable medical attention
The possible Cons of senior housing include:
- Loss of independence
- Displacement from home town or familiar neighborhood
- Stress of adjusting to a new way of life
- High cost
Whether senior housing will benefit your loved ones may depend on whether the pros will outweigh the cons. If the pros do outweigh the cons, then it could be time to broach the subject.
Yes, broaching the subject might be difficult, but it could be one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.